ArticlePDF Available

EFFECTS OF SORORITY MEMBERS' PORNOGRAPHY USE ON BYSTANDER INTERVENTION IN A SEXUAL ASSAULT SITUATION AND RAPE MYTH ACCEPTANCE

Authors:

Abstract

College women's exposure to pornography is growing nationwide. A limited amount of re-search exists documenting the negative effects of pornography on women's attitudes and be-havior related to sexual assault. The present study surveyed sorority members at a Midwest-ern public university on their pornography use, rape myth acceptance, bystander efficacy, and bystander willingness to help in potential sexual assault situations. Results showed that women who view pornography are significantly less likely to intervene as a bystander and are more likely to believe rape myths. Implications for women's personal safety and for the advisability of consuming pornography are discussed. Traditionally considered a strictly male phe-nomenon, the once pronounced gender gap found in pornography consumption has quick-ly diminished. Increased ownership of personal computers and continually expanding Internet content have provided a greater accessibility to pornographic materials and a greater degree of anonymity, allowing women users to avoid neg-ative labels sometimes associated with female pornography consumers (Fisher & Barak, 2001; Goodson, McCormick, & Evans, 2001; Morah-an-Martin, 2000). Forty-nine percent of college women describe pornography viewing as an ac-ceptable expression of sexuality and 31% now use pornography (Carroll et al., 2008; Yoder, Virdin, & Amin, 2005). College-aged women are becoming more likely to view pornography (Boies, 2002), reflecting efforts by the pornog-raphy industry to develop materials specifically targeting female audiences (Dines, 2010). Most of the studies about women's pornog-raphy use that have been conducted thus far have studied college women. Specifically, women in social sororities have often been studied in relat-ed research about violence and sexual behavior, such as sexual assault particularly due to their high risk of victimization. In a series of nation-wide anonymous surveys involving over 20,000 women, sorority women were found to be 50% more likely to experience rape than other col-lege women (Mohler-Kuo, Dowdall, Koss & Weschler, 2004). In addition, women who live in sorority houses are 200 to 300% more likely than other women in college to experience rape (Mohler-Kuo et al.). These two lines of research, rape and pornography viewing among women, have not been well integrated in the scholarly literature. Research relating pornography view-ing and rape is particularly sparse with sorority women, who are most likely to experience rape (Mohler-Kuo et al.). The present study explores whether sorority members' pornography use has an impact on whether they will intervene to help prevent the rape of another woman. For the sake of this study, the definition of pornography was "media used or intended to be used to increase sexual arousal" (Carroll et al., 2008, p. 8). It can include media termed sexu-ally explicit, erotica, and that which is defined as online sexual activity. Research on pornography also includes the effects of stripping, prostitu-tion, and other live performances.
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
26
EFFECTS OF SORORITY MEMBERS’ PORNOGRAPHY USE
ON BYSTANDER INTERVENTION
IN A SEXUAL ASSAULT SITUATION AND RAPE MYTH ACCEPTANCE
MATTHEW W. BROSI, JOHN D. FOUBERT, R. SEAN BANNON, AND GABE YANDELL
College women’s exposure to pornography is growing nationwide. A limited amount of re-
search exists documenting the negative effects of pornography on women’s attitudes and be-
havior related to sexual assault. The present study surveyed sorority members at a Midwest-
ern public university on their pornography use, rape myth acceptance, bystander efcacy,
and bystander willingness to help in potential sexual assault situations. Results showed that
women who view pornography are signicantly less likely to intervene as a bystander and
are more likely to believe rape myths. Implications for women’s personal safety and for the
advisability of consuming pornography are discussed.
Traditionally considered a strictly male phe-
nomenon, the once pronounced gender gap
found in pornography consumption has quick-
ly diminished. Increased ownership of personal
computers and continually expanding Internet
content have provided a greater accessibility to
pornographic materials and a greater degree of
anonymity, allowing women users to avoid neg-
ative labels sometimes associated with female
pornography consumers (Fisher & Barak, 2001;
Goodson, McCormick, & Evans, 2001; Morah-
an-Martin, 2000). Forty-nine percent of college
women describe pornography viewing as an ac-
ceptable expression of sexuality and 31% now
use pornography (Carroll et al., 2008; Yoder,
Virdin, & Amin, 2005). College-aged women
are becoming more likely to view pornography
(Boies, 2002), reflecting efforts by the pornog-
raphy industry to develop materials specifically
targeting female audiences (Dines, 2010).
Most of the studies about women’s pornog-
raphy use that have been conducted thus far have
studied college women. Specifically, women in
social sororities have often been studied in relat-
ed research about violence and sexual behavior,
such as sexual assault particularly due to their
high risk of victimization. In a series of nation-
wide anonymous surveys involving over 20,000
women, sorority women were found to be 50%
more likely to experience rape than other col-
lege women (Mohler-Kuo, Dowdall, Koss &
Weschler, 2004). In addition, women who live
in sorority houses are 200 to 300% more likely
than other women in college to experience rape
(Mohler-Kuo et al.). These two lines of research,
rape and pornography viewing among women,
have not been well integrated in the scholarly
literature. Research relating pornography view-
ing and rape is particularly sparse with sorority
women, who are most likely to experience rape
(Mohler-Kuo et al.). The present study explores
whether sorority members’ pornography use
has an impact on whether they will intervene to
help prevent the rape of another woman.
For the sake of this study, the definition of
pornography was “media used or intended to be
used to increase sexual arousal” (Carroll et al.,
2008, p. 8). It can include media termed sexu-
ally explicit, erotica, and that which is defined as
online sexual activity. Research on pornography
also includes the effects of stripping, prostitu-
tion, and other live performances.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Trends in Pornographic Behaviors
The kind of behavior in today’s pornogra-
phy is commonly described by researchers as far
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
27
more shocking and extreme than that of 10 or
20 years ago (Dines, 2010; Eberstadt & Layden,
2010; Jensen, 2007a; Jensen, 2007b; Malerek,
2009). Researchers assessing the most popu-
larly purchased and rented pornography vid-
eos today found 88% of the scenes in them in-
cluded physical aggression toward women such
as spanking, open-hand slapping, hair pulling,
choking, and bondage. Among the most recent
trends, in 41% of the most popular mainstream
pornography movies today are scenes in which
a man engages a woman in anal sex followed
immediately by oral sex for the purpose of her
degradation (Bridges, Wosnitzer, Scharrer, Sun,
& Liberman, 2010; Malarek, 2009).
With the growth in the pornography indus-
try, the demand for “fresh merchandise” has out-
stripped the supply, leading pornographers to
turn to sex trafficking to have enough women
and girls for their online and video materials
(MacKinnon, 2007; Malarek, 2009). Further-
more, as the pornography industry grows and
seeks to satisfy its increasingly large customer
base, it has continuously innovated its products
and materials in a direction of more extreme,
violent, “edgy,” material, often featuring under-
age actors and scenes depicting a wide variety
of dehumanizing behaviors not heretofore seen
(Dines, 2010; Eberstadt & Layden, 2010; Jen-
sen, 2007a; Jensen, 2007b; Manning, 2006).
Pornography Use and Women’s
Psychological Well-Being
The impact of pornography use on wom-
en remains largely unknown (Manning, 2006).
Most past research, which has suggested a va-
riety of detrimental effects on psychological
well-being and socialization variables, is con-
centrated on the effect of pornography on male
consumers or women as partners of consumers
(Manning, 2006). Research has shown a positive
correlation between women’s acceptance of
pornography and their psychological well-be-
ing (Carroll et al., 2008). Still, more research is
needed on women as direct consumers of por-
nography, particularly regarding the effects on
women’s intra- and interpersonal development.
Rape-Supportive Attitudes, Acceptance of
Rape Myths and Victim Blame
One of the most common ways to measure
people’s attitudes toward sexual violence is to
assess their agreement with what are called rape
myths. According to Lonsway and Fitzgerald
(1994), “Rape myths are attitudes and generally
false beliefs about rape that are widely and per-
sistently held, and that serve to deny and justify
male sexual aggression against women” (p. 133).
Examples of rape myths include the beliefs that
women deserve to be raped or that no woman
can be raped against her will. Why individuals
accept these myths and what factors affect the
socialization of these beliefs is a critical factor in
the sexual violence field.
Research has shown that when women are
exposed to pornography before the age of 18,
they are more likely to have attitudes support-
ing sexual violence as adults (Corne, Briere, &
Esses, 1992). In addition, women who view vi-
olent pornography, with its coupling of inter-
course and aggression, have been found to have
distorted views about rape including increased
victim blame and decreased assignment of re-
sponsibility to male sexual assault perpetrators
(Corne, Briere, & Esses, 1992; Cowan & Camp-
bell, 1995; Davis et al., 2006; Norris et al.,
2004). Exposure to pornography has been asso-
ciated with women’s beliefs that they should ac-
cept sexual victimization (Norris et al., 2004).
Thus, the ties between women viewing pornog-
raphy and experiencing sexual assault are poten-
tially dangerous.
Notably, research has shown when women in
popular mainstream pornographic movies expe-
rience physical aggression by a male, 95% of the
time they respond with either a response of plea-
sure or no response at all. Today’s mainstream
pornography reinforces the notion that violence
against women in sexual situations is acceptable
and the belief that women enjoy the violence
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
28
(Bridges et al., 2010). Further, the content of
pornography today seems to be reinforcing the
script that women do not resist when hit during
a sexual encounter (Bridges et al.). If women
internalize these messages that women enjoy
violence, it raises a barrier for potential inter-
vention to help a friend or sister in need.
Sexual Assault Bystander Intervention
Bystander behavior has been the topic of
much research in the area of sexual assault
prevention during the last decade (Banyard,
Moynihan, & Plante, 2007; Banyard, Plante,
& Moynihan, 2004; Foubert, Langhinrichsen-
Rohling, Brasfield, & Hill, 2010; Katz, 2006).
Researchers who study bystander intervention
have explored the factors that lead people to
intervene to help others who are in distress,
rather than stand by and ignore and/or other-
wise not act (Banyard, Plante, & Moynihan).
Several factors have been shown to increase the
likelihood people will intervene as bystanders.
These include being aware of a situation in
which someone is being victimized, making a
prior commitment to help, having a sense of
partial responsibility for helping, believing that
the victim has not caused the situation to occur,
having a sense of self-efficacy in possessing the
skills to do something, and having seen others
modeling such pro-social behavior (Latane &
Darley, 1968; Banyard, Plante, & Moynihan).
These varied, but interconnected strands
of inquiry lead to the formation of a central
research question: What impact would expo-
sure to hardcore pornography, sadomasochis-
tic pornography, and rape pornography have
on sorority women’s rape myth acceptance,
bystander willingness to help, and bystander
efficacy? Based on prior research showing the
connections between women’s use of pornog-
raphy and their attitudes toward rape-related
variables (Corne, Briere & Esses, 1992; Da-
vis, et al., 2006; Norris et al., 2004), the re-
searchers formulated the following hypothesis:
Women who used each type of pornography
would report higher rape myth acceptance, a
lower efficacy to intervene as a bystander in a
potential rape situation, and a lower willingness
to intervene as a bystander in a potential rape
situation.
METHODOLOGY
Instrumentation
Perceived ability to intervene as a bystand-
er was measured by the bystander efficacy scale
developed by Banyard, Plante, and Moynihan
(2005). This instrument asked participants to
indicate whether they believe they could do
each of 18 bystanding behaviors and if so, to in-
dicate their level of confidence in performing
this bystander behavior. Participants rated items
on a scale of 1 to 100 percent, indicating their
percent confidence they personally believed
they knew how to intervene in the given sce-
nario described. Criterion validity of this scale
was established through a significant correlation
between bystander efficacy and actual bystander
behavior (r = .30). Construct validity was estab-
lished with a significant correlation between by-
stander efficacy and rape myth acceptance (r =
.24) (Banyard, 2008). This scale yielded an alpha
reliability of .91 in the present study.
The Willingness to Help Scale was devel-
oped by Banyard et al. (2005) and measures par-
ticipants’ degree of likelihood of engaging in 12
bystanding behaviors on a 7-point scale ranging
from (1) not at all willing to intervene to (7)
very willing to intervene. Items came from re-
search literature and from discussions with ad-
vocates and professionals working in the field of
sexual violence. Criterion validity of this scale
was established through a significant correla-
tion between bystander willingness to help and
actual bystander behavior (r = .37). Construct
validity was established with a significant cor-
relation between bystander efficacy and rape
myth acceptance (r = .32; Banyard, 2008). The
alpha reliability for these 12-items was .85 in
the present study.
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
29
Participants’ attitudes toward sexual assault
were measured using the Illinois Rape Myth
Acceptance Scale (IRMA; Payne, Lonsway, &
Fitzgerald, 1999). Participants answer a series
of 45 questions on a scale of 1-7 where 1 rep-
resents disagreement and 7 represents agree-
ment. Payne et al. (1999) developed this scale
through six studies including a factor analysis
for construct definition and item pool selec-
tion, a complete-link cluster analysis to deter-
mine the structure and dimensions of the scale,
item pool selection based on fit to a hierarchi-
cal model, and a construct validity study cor-
relating the IRMA to seven similar measures
(r = .50–.74, p < .001). They also conducted
a study where groups known to differ in rape
myth acceptance scored differently as predicted
on the IRMA (p < .001) and a validity study
correlating IRMA scores with a content analysis
of open ended scenarios written by participants
that were analyzed for rape myth content (r =
.32, p < .05). The alpha reliability in the pres-
ent sample for this variable was .90.
Several other variables were measured in
the present study including participant’s race,
age, and class year. In addition, participants
were asked to report their use of pornogra-
phy. Specifically, the following questions were
asked: “Have you seen media consisting of
graphic sex acts (including penetration) be-
ing shown or described in videos, movies,
magazines, books, or online during the last 12
months: Yes/No (hardcore pornography); Have
you seen media consisting of sadomasochistic
portrayals of bondage, whipping and spanking
but without an explicit lack of consent in video,
movies, magazines, books or online during the
last 12 months: Yes/ No (sadomasochistic por-
nography); Have you seen media consisting of
sexually explicit rape depictions in which force
is used with explicit lack of consent in videos,
movies, magazines, books, or online during the
last 12 months: Yes/ No (rape pornography)”
(Carroll et al., 2008).
Participants and Procedures
Participants in the present study were fe-
male members of five sororities at a large public
university in the Midwest. Of 902 total mem-
bers, 307 volunteered to participate, constitut-
ing a 34% return rate. Participants were 89%
Caucasian, 4% Native American, 3% Hispanic,
with the remaining participants being African
American, Asian, or mixed race. The mean age
of participants was 19.7 (SD = 1.02) with 9% at
age 18, 39% age 19, 27% age 20, 22% age 21,
3% age 22, and .3% age 23. There were no par-
ticipants over the age of 23. Participants includ-
ed 41% first-year students, 28% sophomores,
26% juniors, and 6% seniors.
Research protocols were submitted to and
approved by the institutional review board for
human subjects. The experimenters also re-
cruited assistance from the Panhellenic Council,
the leaders from all of the sororities on campus,
to request the volunteer participation from each
chapter. Chapters were offered monetary incen-
tives for reaching high levels of survey comple-
tion among their members.
Graduate students visited each chapter house
up to three times to distribute and collect sur-
veys for this study. Surveys were administered
and collected in regularly scheduled group
meetings and in additionally scheduled meeting
times when members could be present to com-
plete the measures. All individuals participated
voluntarily and received no direct compensa-
tion for completing the measures in this study.
After receiving a briefing about the nature of
the study and an informed consent document,
surveys were distributed at chapter meetings.
Participants completed surveys anonymously
and returned their survey in a common return
envelope with no identifying information.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Women were asked whether they had viewed
three different kinds of pornography during the
past 12 months: hardcore pornography, sado-
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
30
masochistic pornography, and rape pornogra-
phy. Among sorority women who completed
surveys in this study, 46% had viewed hardcore
pornography, 27% had viewed rape pornogra-
phy, and 21% had viewed sadomasochistic por-
nography. Survey results were analyzed using
SPSS version 17. This section presents results
organized by dependent variable alongside with
discussion and considerations to enable more
direct interpretation.
Rape Myth Acceptance
A 2 by 2 by 2 MANOVA was computed with
exposure during the last 12 months to hardcore
pornography, rape pornography, and sadomas-
ochistic pornography as dichotomous indepen-
dent variables and rape myth acceptance as a
dependent variable. Consistent with a unidirec-
tional hypothesis, main effects for sadomasoch-
istic pornography emerged F(1, 265) = 2.67,
p =.05 such that women who viewed this type
of pornography reported a higher level of rape
myth acceptance (M = 2.29; SD = .76) than
women who did not view sadomasochistic por-
nography (M = 2.06; SD = .75). The effect size
for this difference was between low and me-
dium (Cohen’s d = .30). Likewise there was a
main effect for viewing hardcore pornography.
Consistent with a unidirectional hypothesis, if
women viewed hardcore pornography within
the last year, they reported greater rape myth
acceptance (M = 2.25; SD = .65) than women
who did not (M = 2.05; SD = 1.18), F(1, 265)
= 3.23, p < .05. The effect size for this differ-
ence was low (Cohen’s d = .21).
Bystander Intervention
A 2 by 2 by 2 MANOVA was computed with
viewing during the last 12 months to hardcore
pornography, rape pornography, and sadomas-
ochistic pornography as independent variables
and bystander efficacy and bystander willingness
to help as dependent variables. Consistent with
our unidirectional hypothesis, there was multi-
variate significance with women’s viewing sado-
masochistic pornography on bystander variables
F(2, 254) = 2.71, p < .05. Univariate effects
emerged for bystander efficacy such that wom-
en who viewed sadomasochistic pornography (M
= 75.3, SD = 18.41) perceived that they were
less able to intervene in a sexual assault situation
than women who chose not to use sadomasoch-
istic pornography (M = 81.0; SD = 18.17), F(1,
255) = 4.34, p < .05. The effect size for this
difference was between low and medium (Co-
hen’s d = .31). Women who used sadomasochis-
tic pornography (M = 4.01; SD = .73) were also
less willing to intervene in a potential sexual as-
sault situation F(1, 255) = 4.29, p < .05, than
women who reported they did not use sadomas-
ochistic pornography (M = 4.23; SD = .72). The
effect size for this difference was between low
and medium (Cohen’s d = .30).
Nearly half of the women in this study re-
ported viewing hardcore pornography, at-
testing to the pervasiveness of its use. Results
demonstrated several harmful effects of wom-
en’s viewing pornography, confirming prior re-
search (Carroll, 2008; Davis et al., 2006; Nor-
ris et al., 2004).
Hardcore Pornography
The 46% of women who viewed hardcore
pornography during the last 12 months indicat-
ed a greater belief in rape myths than women
who did not view hardcore pornography. Thus,
women who have looked at pornography with-
in the past 12 months were significantly more
likely to believe false or stereotyped beliefs
about rape, rape victims, or rapists. It appears
that when females viewed hardcore pornogra-
phy, their conceptualization of rape was subject
to becoming skewed. Research has shown that
what is portrayed in hardcore pornography, par-
ticularly that which has been produced during
the last 15 years, depicts activity more consis-
tent with nonconsensual than consensual acts
(Dines, 2010). In short, “porn plays out ‘fantasy’
sex that looks more like sexual assault than mak-
ing love” (Dines, 2010, p. xxvii). Thus, this con-
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
31
firms other studies indicating that women who
have watched media that blurs the line between
consensual and nonconsensual acts would re-
port a less accurate understanding of rape, rape
victims, and rapists than those women who ab-
stain from pornography.
Sadomasochistic Pornography
When women reported viewing sado-
masochistic pornography during the past 12
months, a consistent pattern of effects result-
ed. Compared to the 79% of women who had
not viewed sadomasochistic pornography, the
21% of women who used it reported signifi-
cantly greater beliefs in rape myths, less by-
stander willingness, and lower efficacy to inter-
vene in a rape related situation. Just as in the
case of women who viewed hardcore pornog-
raphy, women who used sadomasochistic por-
nography had experienced significant effects
on rape myth acceptance. Thus, those women
who viewed sadomasochistic pornography had
significantly more false beliefs about rape than
women who did not view this kind of pornog-
raphy. Although there is overlap between these
two groups, with 21% of women viewing sa-
domasochistic pornography and 46% viewing
hardcore pornography, many women looked at
hardcore pornography but did not view sado-
masochistic pornography. This smaller group,
about one in five, who view sadomasochistic
pornography constituted a subset of pornogra-
phy viewers who deserve close scrutiny.
Values on the dependent variable of rape
myth acceptance revealed that many females
who viewed sadomasochistic porn had distort-
ed perceptions about rape, the nature of rape
survivors, and the characteristics of rapists. That
these distorted beliefs coincide with viewing sa-
domasochistic pornography suggests, at a mini-
mum, that such viewing is risky for women who
would otherwise want or should have accurate
knowledge about rape, survivors, and perpetra-
tors.
In the present study, participants who viewed
sadomasochistic pornography also reported a
lower level of willingness to intervene as a by-
stander in a sexual assault situation than non-
users. Thus, it seems exposure to sadomasoch-
istic pornography is associated with a lack of
women’s willingness to intervene to help pre-
vent the rape of another woman. This result is
particularly compelling for those interested in
reducing the rate of sexual assault on college
campuses. Several studies have shown that con-
vincing college students to intervene in poten-
tial rape situations is an especially effective pre-
vention practice (Banyard, Plante & Moynihan,
2007; Foubert, Newberry, & Tatum, 2007).
Given that viewing sadomasochistic pornogra-
phy was associated with a lower level of will-
ingness to intervene to help prevent the rape of
another woman, it seems advisable to explore
effective educational efforts to discourage sa-
domasochistic pornography use in concert
with efforts to promote the bystander model
of rape prevention.
Participants who reported viewing sado-
masochistic pornography also reported a low-
er level of bystander efficacy than their peers.
With that, it appears there is something about
women’s viewing sadomasochistic pornogra-
phy directly related to their belief that they
know what to do to intervene in a sexual as-
sault situation more so than their peers who
do not use sadomasochistic pornography. Sim-
ilar to the effect that viewing sadomasochis-
tic pornography may have on one’s willing-
ness to intervene, this could be because they
have viewed behavior that combines both sex
and aggression in a manner the manufacturer
intends to be sexually stimulating. Women’s
confidence in their ability to identify a rape
situation as opposed to one that needs no in-
tervention may also be affected. This, unfortu-
nately, then alters their understanding of how
to intervene in situations that could turn into
rape—perhaps simply because of the blurred
boundary resulting from the inclusion of vio-
lence in sexual acts.
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
32
But what is it about viewing sadomasochis-
tic pornography that is associated with women’s
perceptions of intimate relationships? Women
who view sadomasochistic pornography are
exposed to a view of sexual contact where vi-
olence, power, and sexual contact are conflat-
ed. One explanation may be that when women
internalized the messages present in sadomas-
ochistic pornography, they accepted an altered
reality of sexual relationships. However, these
depictions of men and women in exaggerated
power positions (e.g., a dominatrix) may serve
to cloud their understanding of mutual, recipro-
cal relationships.
The challenge to understanding the link be-
tween women’s viewing sadomasochistic por-
nography and efficacy in intervening may lie
more specifically in determining the degree
of consensual sexual contact between sexual
partners. An individual’s ability to determine
whether a sexual assault situation necessitates
intervention may be altered by exposure to sa-
domasochistic pornography. Perhaps women
experience difficulty conceptualizing the dif-
ference between sexual assault and consent,
leading them to question whether a situation
is problematic. It appears that sadomasochistic
pornography blurs women’s understanding of
consent, leading to altered beliefs about rape,
rape victims, and rapists; decreased understand-
ing about how to intervene; and lowered will-
ingness to intervene in potential rape situations.
IMPLICATIONS AND FUTURE RESEARCH
The present study showed that sorority
members who used pornography, particularly
sadomasochistic pornography, reported higher
rape myth acceptance, lower willingness to in-
tervene in a sexual assault situation, and lower
efficacy to intervene in a sexual assault situa-
tion. In addition to replicating the study with
a nonmember comparison group, a potential
next step in this research line would be to as-
sess the relationships between use of a wide ar-
ray of types of pornography and frequency of
use along with the bystander variables measured
in this study. The present study was limited to
assessing sorority women’s use of pornography
during the last 12 months and did not assess
the conditions under which pornography was
consumed. It could be that women were view-
ing pornography voluntarily, vicariously, as an
aid for masturbation, against their wishes, with
a significant other, or even as part of an event
with their sorority where they may or may not
have had a choice to take part. Exploring the
relationship between the aforementioned vari-
ables and the circumstances under which por-
nography was consumed would add tremendous
depth to the understanding of women’s pornog-
raphy use.
It would also be interesting to qualitatively
explore sorority women’s use patterns, moti-
vations to consume, and attitudes concerning
various types of pornography to illuminate and
expand upon the present study’s findings. For
example, individual interviews with women
who have consumed pornography could yield
information rich data that could shed light on
the dynamics of how sadomasochistic pornog-
raphy impacts women’s perceptions of consent
and how this phenomenon relates to bystander
intervention.
In terms of implications for practice, as sex-
ual assault continues to affect both fraternities
and sororities alike, special care should be tak-
en to address the related issue of pornography
use. Specifically, this study showed that por-
nography use is more prevalent among soror-
ity women than may have been thought. Open-
ly addressing the implications of accepting this
medium as it pertains to the objectification of
women, the concurrent lower likelihood of by-
stander intervention, and the negative impact
on attitudes toward rape is cause for serious
concern. As this research has highlighted, the
intersection between viewing pornography and
adhering to rape myths and intervening in sex-
ual assault situations should be highlighted as an
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
33
area that leaders on campuses and in inter/na-
tional offices should address as a direct link to
sexual violence.
LIMITATIONS
This study is primarily limited by the fact that
only sorority women were surveyed on only one
campus in the Midwest. The measure of pornog-
raphy consumption used in this study was limit-
ed to the women’s exposure to one genre of por-
nography (violent) during the past 12 months,
without assessing the frequency of that use or
the circumstances in which the women con-
sumed it. Future research should take into con-
sideration the differences between those who
choose to pursue and view pornography on their
own from those who are tangentially exposed or
tolerate viewing pornography with others (e.g.,
boyfriends, etc.) in addition to the specific con-
tent viewed, the frequency of viewing, and the
medium through which it was viewed (online,
movie, magazine, etc.). Comparison studies be-
tween nonmember college women, women who
belong to other groups such as athletic organiza-
tions, and men are warranted.
This study is further limited by the response
rate. Of the 11 of sororities on campus, five
chose to participate with 34% completing and
returning the surveys. Thus, the sample may
be biased with information collected by indi-
viduals specifically interested in this topic. Fur-
ther, it may be that the sensitivity of the issue
being investigated was perceived as casting a
negative light on the sorority community as a
whole, which could have led some to want to
avoid sharing their experiences. This study is
further limited by the nature of using self-re-
port measures and the fact that a scale of social
desirability was not included. Given the nature
of the study, it could have been valuable to mea-
sure the degree to which participants were an-
swering truthfully and to selectively remove re-
sponses from participants who appeared to be
answering in a deceptive or dismissive manner.
CONCLUSION
Ultimately, pornography appears to pose a
danger to both men and women, particularly as
an influence on potential sexual assault behav-
iors and victimization. Research has shown that
men who view pornography are at increased
risk for committing sexual assault (Carr & Van-
Deusen, 2004). However, as indicated in this
study, when women view pornography, partic-
ularly films with sadomasochistic themes, they
are less likely to look out for the safety and se-
curity of others and are more likely to stand by
and do nothing while a sister is being assaulted.
REFERENCES
Banyard, V. L. (2008). Measurement and correlates of pro-social bystander behavior: The case of in-
terpersonal violence. Violence and Victims, 23, 83-97.
Banyard, V. L., Moynihan, M. M. & Plante, E. G. (2007). Sexual violence prevention through by-
stander education: An experimental evaluation. Journal of Community Psychology, 35, 463-
481.
Banyard, V. L., Plante, E. G., & Moynihan, M. M. (2005). Rape prevention through bystander edu-
cation: Final report to NIJ for grant 2002-WG-BX-0009. Retrieved June 15, 2007, from
www.ncjrs.org0pdffiles10nij0grants0208701.pdf
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
34
Banyard, V. L., Plante, E. G., & Moynihan, M. M. (2004). Bystander education: Bringing a broader
community perspective to sexual violence prevention. Journal of Community Psychology,
32(1), 61-79.
Boies, S. C. (2002). University students’ uses of and reactions to online sexual information and en-
tertainment: Links to online and offline sexual behaviour. Canadian Journal of Human Sexu-
ality, 11(2), 77-89.
Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C., & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression and sexual
behavior in best-selling pornography videos: A content analysis update. Violence Against
Women, 16, 1065-1085.
Carr, J. L., & VanDeusen, K. M. (2004). Risk factors for male sexual aggression on college campus-
es. Journal of Family Violence, 19(5), 279-289.
Carroll, J. S., Padilla-Walker, L. M., Nelson, L. J., Olsen, C. D., McNamara Barry, C., &Madsen,
S. D. (2008). Generation XXX: Pornography acceptance and use among emerging adults.
Journal of Adolescent Research, 23(1), 6-30.
Corne, S., Briere, J., & Esses, L. M. (1992). Women’s attitudes and fantasies about rape as a function
to early exposure to pornography. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 7(4), 893-896.
Cowan, G., & Campbell, R. R. (1995). Rape causal attitudes among adolescents. Journal of Sex Re-
search, 32, 145-153.
Davis, K.C., Norris, J., George, W. H., Martell, J., & Heiman, J. R. (2006). Rape-myth congruent
beliefs in women resulting from exposure to violent pornography: Effects of alcohol and
sexual arousal. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21(9), 1208-1223.
Dines, G. (2010). Pornland: How porn has hijacked our sexuality. Boston: Beacon Press.
Eberstadt, M., & Layden, M. A. (2010). The social costs of pornography: A statement of findings
and recommendations. Princeton, NJ: The Witherspoon Institute.
Fisher, W. A., & Barak, A. (2001). Internet pornography: A social psychological perspective on inter-
net sexuality. Journal of Sex Research, 38(4), 312-323.
Foubert, J. D. & Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., Brasfield, H., & Hill, B. (2010). Effects of a rape aware-
ness program on college women: Increasing bystander efficacy and willingness to inter-
vene. Journal of Community Psychology, 38, 813-827.
Foubert, J. D., Newberry, J. T., & Tatum, J. L. (2007). Behavior differences seven months later: Ef-
fects of a rape prevention program on first-year men who join fraternities. NASPA Journal,
44, 728-749.
Goodson, P., McCormick, D., & Evans, A. (2001). Searching for sexually explicit material on the In-
ternet: An exploratory study of college students’ behavior and attitudes. Archives of Sexual
Behavior, 30, 101-117.
Jensen, R. (2007a). Getting off: Pornography and the end of masculinity. Cambridge, MA: South End
Press.
Jensen, R. (2007b). The paradox of pornography. In D. E. Guinn (Ed.), Pornography: Driving the de-
mand in international sex trafcking (pp. 76-86). Captive Daughters Media: U.S.A.
Lonsway, K. A., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1994), Rape myths. In review. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18,
133–164. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1994.tb00448.x
Katz, J. (2006). The macho paradox: Why some men hurt women and how all men can help. New York, NY:
Sourcebooks.
Latane, B., & Darley, J. M. (1968). Group inhibition of bystander intervention. Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 10, 215–221.
Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Vol. 6, Issue 2 • Fall 2011
35
MacKinnon, C. A. (2007). Pornography as trafficking. In D. E. Guinn (Ed.), Pornography: Driving the
demand in international sex trafcking (pp. 31-42). U.S.A.: Captive Daughters Media.
Malarek, V. (2009). The Johns: Sex for sale and the men who buy it. New York, NY: Arcade Publishing.
Manning, J. C. (2006). The impact of internet pornography on marriage and the family: A review of
the research. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 13, 131-165.
Mohler-Kuo, M., Dowdall, G.W., Koss, M. P., & Wechsler, H. (2004). Correlates of rape while in-
toxicated in a national sample of college women. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 65, 37-45.
Morahan-Martin, J. (2000). Women and the internet: Promise and perils. CyberPsychology & Behavior,
3, 683-691.
Norris, J., Davis, K. C., George, W. H., Martell, J., & Heiman, J. R. (2004). Victim’s response and
alcohol-related factors as determinants of women’s responses to violent pornography. Psy-
chology of Women Quarterly, 28, 59-69.
Payne, D. L., Lonsway, K. A., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1999). Rape myth acceptance: Exploration of its
structure and its measurement using the Illinois rape myth acceptance scale. Journal of Re-
search in Personality, 33, 27-68.
Yoder, V., Virdin, T., & Amin, K. (2005). Internet pornography and loneliness: An association? Sexual
Addiction and Compulsivity, 12(1), 19-44.
AUTHOR AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
Matthew W. Brosi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy and Director, Center for Family
Services, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Oklahoma State University, 233 HES, Stillwa-
ter, OK 74078-6122; 405-744-3633 (phone), 405-744-2800 (fax); matt.brosi@okstate.edu.
John D. Foubert, Ph.D., Associate Professor of College Student Development and Anderson, Farris, and Halligan
Professor of Educational Studies at Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma State University, 314 Willard Hall,
Stillwater, OK 74078-6122; john.foubert@okstate.edu.
R. Sean Bannon, M.S., Doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma
State University, 314 Willard Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078-6122; rbannon@okstate.edu.
Gabriel Yandell, B.S., Master’s student in Marriage and Family Therapy at Oklahoma State University, Okla-
homa State University, 233 HES, Stillwater, OK 74078-6122; gabe.yandell@okstate.edu.
... Studies examining the success of bystander intervention programs mainly do through surveys of college student perceptions (e.g., Coker et al., 2011Coker et al., , 2016Foubert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Brasfield, & Hill, 2010;Gidycz, Orchowski, & Berkowitz, 2011;Jouriles et al., 2016;Katz, Olin, Herman, & DuBois, 2013;Mabry & Turner, 2016;McMahon, 2015). These studies have used a number of metrics measuring the potential for intervention; reporting self-reported behaviors as well as accounting for rape myth acceptance and its impact on bystander behavior (e.g., Amar, Sutherland, & Laughon, 2014;Banyard, 2008;Banyard & Moynihan, 2011;Brosi, Foubert, Bannon, & Yandell, 2011;Brown & Messman-Moore, 2010;Fleming & Wiersma-Mosley, 2015;Hust et al., 2013;Hust, Marett, Lei, Ren, & Ran, 2015;Katz et al., 2013;McMahon, 2010). ...
Article
By presenting institution-level variables of 118 universities across 50 states and the District of Columbia, we provide a descriptive overview of the types of programs and sexual assault-related data. Specifically, we examine correlations between policies and practices related to sexual assault prevention and reports of rape. As expected, we found that universities with policies pertaining to affirmative consent, alcohol, and inclusive definitions of assault, combined with practices like mandatory training and transparency with campus climate survey findings, also have higher reports of sexual assault.
... Within the pornography effects literature, pornography is found to predict a variety of negative outcomes pertaining to rape and sexual aggression (de Heer et al. 2020;Malamuth 2018). Research finds that exposure to pornography is positively associated with increased rape fantasies (i.e., mental fantasy of being the target of sexual aggression), attitudes supportive of sexual violence against women, decreased bystander intervention, and increased rape myth acceptance (Brosi et al. 2011;Corne et al. 1992). ...
Article
Full-text available
College students report turning to pornography for guidance regarding sexual expectations and norms. Similarly, research has shown that compulsive pornography exposure (i.e. extreme amounts of viewing and dependence on pornography) leads to an engagement in risky sexual behaviors. This is problematic considering the high rates of sexual assault in college campuses. In light of this, the present study examined whether compulsive pornography exposure was associated with college students’ sexual refusal assertiveness, and whether this relationship would be moderated by consent attitudes. Data were collected from 266 college students who regularly watched pornography (Mage = 20.60, SD = 2.77, 45.1% female). Results showed that compulsive pornography exposure was negatively associated with sexual refusal assertiveness. An interaction emerged such that the association between compulsive pornography exposure and sexual refusal assertiveness was only significant for those who believed consent was less important, whereas this did not occur for those who believed consent was more important. Our results are unpacked in light of sexual script-based theories.
... In one study of sexualized women in superhero films, exposure to sexualized-victim images of women decreased egalitarian gender role beliefs (Pennel & Behm-Morawitz, 2015). Research on pornography use indicates increased exposure is associated with hostile sexism and less egalitarian attitudes toward relationships (Hald, Malamuth, & Lange, 2013) as well as increased belief in rape myths and decreased likelihood to intervene in a potential rape scenario among both male and female users (Brosi, Foubert, Bannon, & Yandell, 2011;. Although many of these studies cited use college student samples, male and female adolescents, ages 12 to 15 years, in Belgium, who played a video game with a sexualized female character later expressed more tolerance of rape myths and of sexual harassment than teens who played the same game with a nonsexualized character (Driesmans, Vandenbosch, & Eggermont, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
The Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, published in 2007, is one of the most frequently accessed APA reports. The task force was formed and report was compiled in response to concerns regarding the impact of sexualization on girls and society at large. This article presents a review of research published since the report was released to examine the continued presence and impact of sexualizing material. In addition, we review the new evidence in light of critiques of the report that followed its publication. Finally, we present emerging ideas regarding prevention and interventions. While general findings of the original report hold true, and some criticisms have been addressed, the present review suggests the need for more research on childhood, rather than adolescents and adults, and more research using samples that have gender, sexuality, racial, and ethnic diversity.
... Adopting common rape myths, such as believing women are to blame for their victimization, may be explained through sexual scripting and may also help explain why sorority women are more likely to be victims of sexually assault than non-Greek women (Brosi, Foubert, Bannon, & Yandell, 2011;Mohler-Kuo, Dowdall, Koss, & Wechsler, 2004). The fact that fraternity men and sorority women often date one another may also explain why sorority women are more at risk of being victims of sexual assault ''given that 90% of women know their perpetrators and that more than 40% of the stalkers known to women on campus are current or former boyfriends'' (Moynihan, Banyard, Arnold, & Eckstein, 2011, p. 704). ...
Article
Full-text available
College students in social Greek organizations are at greater risk of sexual assault than other college students. The present study examined how readership of the online news site TotalFratMove.com (TFM), through a survey questionnaire, which often includes coverage of stereotypical fraternity culture, may impact rape myth acceptance. Results revealed that the more frequently Greeks read TFM, the more likely they were to be accepting of rape myths when also taking into account the strength of their Greek social identity. Challenging stereotypes of the ''frat daddy'' and ''sorostitite'' may indirectly challenge behaviors and attitudes associated with rape myth acceptance otherwise perpetuated by Greek culture. Public Health Significance Statement: This study suggests that the more frequently Greek-affiliated college students read the popular website TFM, the more likely they were to have rape myth supportive attitudes when they also felt like being Greek was an integral part of their identity.
Article
The prevalence of rape myths, or false beliefs about rape that blame victims of sexual violence and excuse perpetrators of sexual violence, has been documented throughout a wide range of media content. However, previous meta-analyses of media consumption and rape myth acceptance (RMA) have focused on pornography, and these studies are over ten years old. This research addresses this gap with a meta-analysis studying the relationship between the consumption of all types of media and RMA. Thirty-two studies (N = 12,016) met inclusion criteria. The overall weighted mean effect size was r = 0.09 (p < .001), indicating a small but statistically significant relationship, where media consumption is correlated with greater RMA. Sub-analyses indicated that a few media types, especially violent pornography and general pornography, drove this relationship. Results are discussed in terms of cultivation theory, social cognitive theory, and sexual scripting theory. The results highlight needs for: research exploring the relationship between diverse types of media consumption and RMA, pornography research distinguishing between violent and nonviolent pornographic content, and rape myth-focused media literacy interventions that target adolescents and young adults.
Chapter
Based upon both theory and research, pornography appears to play a major teaching role in the sexual beliefs and behaviors of men, women, and children. As a teacher, it is arousing, rewarding, and modeling. It miseducates about sexuality and relationships. It teaches unhealthy self-esteem, sexual narcissism, sexual entitlement, and relative deprivation. It is a potent drug that is both flexible and fast. It encourages permission-giving beliefs that include that sex is a commodity that we buy and if we can buy it, we can steal it. This makes a natural and potent pathway to sexual violence. Numerous studies show a variety of negative effects in both attitudes and behaviors, but the most troubling is this connection to sexual violence. The messages of pornography damage the providers of sex as well as the users of sex. The continuum of the sexual exploitation industry and the continuum of sexual abuse and violence are seamlessly interconnected.
Article
The increased accessibility and use of pornography in Western society highlights the emergent need to understand the relationship between its use and sexual coercion. Decades of research have demonstrated a consistent relationship between pornography use and engaging in sexually aggressive behavior, although what drives this relationship remains largely unexplained. Researchers have recently presented potential explanations for these relationships, such as the use of violent pornography types, the development of aberrant sexual scripts, and the frequency of pornography use. This study seeks to contribute to the explanation by examining the potential mediating effects of sexual arousal on the relationship between pornography use frequency and willingness to engage in verbal and illegal sexual coercive behaviors by examining a sample of male and female college adults. This population reports some of the highest rates of pornography use. The sample of 745 college students were exposed to either an exotic video presentation or a criminal justice lecture, and provided a dating scenario and sexual arousal assessments. Results indicated those young adults that consume pornography more frequently were more likely to experience higher levels of sexual arousal to the erotic video than those who reported little or no use. However, after controlling for several variables significantly related to sexual coercion, arousal did not mediate willingness to engage in verbal or illegal sexual coercive behaviors. Other significant results and implications are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined pornography viewing, rape myth acceptance, and sexist attitudes. Data came from 392 male and 903 female participants. Multigroup SEM indicated neither pornography viewing, nor hardcore pornography viewing, were related to rape myth acceptance when controlling for sexist attitudes among men. Wald tests indicated hostile sexism to be a significantly stronger predictor of all rape myths examined compared to pornography viewing or hardcore pornography viewing in men and women. Latent variable interaction analyses suggested hardcore pornography viewing as a significant exacerbating factor for the relationship between hostile sexism and “she asked for it” rape myths across genders.
Article
Full-text available
identified religiosity and experiential avoidance as correlates. Scrupulosity has been theorized as a factor within religiosity that may be associated with PPV. The present study tested a moderated-mediation model using structural equation modeling in a sample (n=727) of pornography viewers. Experiential avoidance and scrupulosity were found to be positive correlates of PPV. Indirect effects suggested experiential avoidance was a positive mediator between scrupulosity and PPV. Moderation analyses indicated these relationships only held for men. The present findings support the use of acceptancebased interventions for individuals struggling with PPV.
Article
Rape myth acceptance (RMA) is pointed as a predict variable of sexual assault or one of the characters of sexual offenders. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of pornography use on RMA and the moderating effect of social interaction on the relationship between pornography use and RMA. 586 male adults were sampled from the Nationwide Survey of Sexual Assault in South Korea, 2010. The results of the regression analysis indicated that pornography use had a positive impact on RMA, although the social interaction had no significant impact on male adult's RMA. Social interaction was verified to moderate the impact of pornography use on RMA. Based on these results, implications for prevention and practice were discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Although much has been learned about how social forces such as pornography can shape or direct men's sexual violence against women, few empirical data exist on how these forces impinge on women's attitudes and behavior. In the present study, 187 female university students responded to a questionnaire regarding childhood exposure to pornography, current sexual fantasies, and endorsement of rape-supportive attitudes. Early exposure to pornography was related to subsequent “rape fantasies” and attitudes supportive of sexual violence against women. Findings were interpreted in the context of women's socialization to accept sexual aggression as a sexual/romantic event.
Article
Full-text available
Spectacular growth in availability of sexually explicit material on the Internet challenges sexual science to study antecedents and consequences of experience with such content. The current analysis attempts to provide a conceptual and empirical context for emerging work in this area. Our discussion begins with a summary of some of what has been learned from existing research concerning sexually explicit materials in contexts other than the Internet, and considers lessons from this work that may inform emerging research concerning Internet sexuality. A social psychological theory, the Sexual Behavior Sequence (Byrne, 1977), is then applied in an initial effort to conceptualize a number of antecedents and consequences of experience with Internet sexuality. Discussion closes with consideration of an agenda for future research concerning antecedents and consequences of experience with Internet sexually explicit materials.
Article
Full-text available
First-year men at a midsized public university either saw a rape prevention program or were in a control group and were asked to complete attitude and behavior surveys at the beginning and end of an academic year. Participants were also asked whether they joined fraternities during that year. With 90% of first-year men participating throughout the duration of the study, results showed that men who joined fraternities during the year and had seen a rape prevention program at the beginning of the acade-mic year were significantly less likely to commit a sexual-ly coercive act during the year than control group men who joined fraternities. Long-term attitude change was also associated with program participation. Results are discussed regarding effective program strategies for edu-cating fraternity men about rape on college campuses. Despite much educational programming on college campuses focused on rape prevention and risk reduction (Anderson & Whitson, 2005; Katz, 2006), one in four college women have consistently reported surviving rape or attempted rape on numerous multicampus studies sampling thousands of college students for several decades (Fisher, Cullen, & Turner, 2000; Mohler-Kuo, Dowdall, Koss, & Wechsler, 2004; Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987). Up to 5% of college women survive rape or attempted rape every year (Mohler-Kuo et al., 2004). Perpetrators of rape are almost always (98%) men (Sedgwick, 2006); in addition, 9% of college men admit to acts that meet the legal definition of either rape or attempted rape (Ouimett & Riggs, 1998). Early programmatic attempts to address this problem focused on encouraging women to change their behavior by not going out alone at night, curbing alcohol use, and taking self-defense classes. Although these recommendations have value, they showed few, if any, signs of addressing the root of the problem—the behavior of men who chose to rape (Katz, 2006).
Article
Full-text available
An experimental study evaluated the efficacy of a sexual assault risk-reduction program on 279 college women that focused on learning characteristics of male perpetrators and teaching bystander intervention techniques. After seeing The Women's Program, participants reported significantly greater bystander efficacy and significantly greater willingness to help than before seeing the program. Participants outperformed a control group. Rape myth acceptance also declined among program participants. Implications for rape awareness programming are discussed. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
This survey of 760 university students assessed their online sexual activities pertaining to dating, education and entertainment, the associations of these online activities with offline sexual behaviour, and their reactions to the sexually explicit material (SEM) they encountered online. Half of the respondents used the Internet to obtain sexual information and said they benefited from it. About 40% went online to meet new people, and to view SEM. Sexual entertainment activities were frequent both online and offline with more men than women engaging in them. A factor analysis identifted four clusters of online and offline sexual activity: seeking partners; entertainment; sexual gratification; and in-person exploration. Masturbation while online was more common among those who reacted favourably to online SEM than those who reacted unfavourably. Those who found SEM disturbing or boring were less likely to have masturbated while online although whether or not respondents found online SEM arousing best distinguished between those who did or did not masturbate while online. The implications of the findings for sexual health education and future research are discussed.
Article
Women suffer a variety of detrimental effects from exposure to violent pornography. This study examined the role of specific situational cues embedded within a violent pornographic story, as well as alcohol consumption and alcohol expectancies, to determine potential mechanisms through which these effects occur. Female social drinkers (N = 123), recruited from the community at large, participated in a between-subjects factorial experiment varying two situational cues—victim response (pleasure vs. distress) and story character beverage consumption (alcohol vs. mineral water)—and participant beverage consumption (alcohol vs. placebo vs. tonic). Results indicate that participants' identification with the victim plays a key role in affecting their responses and that alcohol-related factors appear to exacerbate the negative impact of pornography.
Article
Five possible causes of rape—male dominance, female precipitation, society, male sexuality, and male pathology—were compared among high school students from California. Participants (N = 453) completed a group‐administered questionnaire as part of a rape‐education high school outreach provided by two rape crisis centers. Gender, ethnicity, age, and communication sources about rape, including pornography, were related to attitudes about the causes of rape. Within gender, girls rated male pathology the highest of the five causes of rape, and boys rated female precipitation highest. Between genders, girls rated male pathology and male dominance higher and female precipitation lower than did boys. In particular, both female precipitation and male sexuality scores were related to gender, communicating about rape with parents, exposure to pornography, the number of socializing agents with whom girls have discussed rape, girls’ beliefs that they have learned about sex from pornography, and the number of pornographic videos/films seen by girls. Male sexuality scores were also related to ethnicity. The significant correlations between girls’ attitudes toward the causes of rape and other variables were more extensive than were boys’. The gender differences in beliefs about the causes of rape suggest a need for gender‐specific rape‐education programs targeting the specific rape myths that each gender group most strongly believes. The findings also suggest that communication with parents about rape may be important in relation to beliefs held about the causes of rape.
Article
Since the advent of the Internet, the sex industry has profited from an unprecedented proximity to the home environment. Consequently, couples, families, and individuals of all ages are being impacted by pornography in new ways. Examining the systemic impact of Internet pornography, however, is relatively uncharted territory and the body of systemically-focused research is limited. A review of the research that does exist was undertaken and many negative trends were revealed. While much remains unknown about the impact of Internet pornography on marriages and families, the available data provide an informed starting point for policy makers, educators, clinicians, and researchers.
Article
A series of six studies were conducted to explore the structure underlying rape myths and to develop the 45-item Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (''IRMA''). In the first study, 604 participants (mean age 18.8 years, 53% women) rated their level of agreement with 95 pretested rape myth statements. Exploratory and confir-matory multivariate analyses revealed a structure consisting of both a general myth component and seven subcomponents. This structure was replicated in a second study using a new sample and paired comparisons methodology. Study 3 details the development procedures for the IRMA and presents statistics demonstrating its good psychometric properties. Finally, Studies 4–6 support the construct validity of the IRMA. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theory, mea-surement, future research, and intervention. © 1999 Academic Press
Article
The current study used an experimental design to evaluate a sexual violence prevention program based on a community of responsibility model that teaches women and men how to intervene safely and effectively in cases of sexual violence before, during, and after incidents with strangers, acquaintances, or friends. It approaches both women and men as potential bystanders or witnesses to behaviors related to sexual violence. Three hundred and eighty-nine undergraduates participated and were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups or a control group. Results from the research reveal that up to 2 months after participating in either a one- or three-session version of the program, participants in the treatment conditions showed improvements across measures of attitudes, knowledge, and behavior while the control group did not. Most program effects persisted at 4- and 12-month follow-ups. The program appeared to benefit both women and men. Implications and future directions for research are discussed. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comm Psychol 35: 463–481, 2007.